Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, 27 July 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 4 August

I hiked from Nyamisisi to Butiama, a distance of about 15 kilometres.
The route has hills and mountains on both sides. On the far right is Mt. Mtuzu, also known as Vodacom to Butiama's residents, where the mobile phone company Vodacom has a cell site.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

Friday, 26 July 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 23 July

In Dar es Salaam I walked past a board nailed to an electric pole advertising the ailments that "Dr." Jabali can cure. "Doctor" is a title that traditional healers freely adopt without consideration of the norms associated with using such titles.
The board lists the following: cures for chronic malaria, intestinal worms, business (I assume a cure for an ailing business), love (probably, lack thereof), education (getting to a university degree without trying), legal case (winning a case that you should have lost), as well as theft protection, protection against ill-fortune, provision of lucky rings, maintenance of wealth, and a trap for spouses (I assume a means of catching unfaithful partners, although it also sounds like a cure for taming a spouse).

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

Thursday, 25 July 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 12 July

I began to replace the guitar tuners of an old bass guitar that I was given by my cousin.
Unfortunately, after I replaced the set and began to tighten the guitar strings but the tension from the strings broke the bridge and ended my reacquaintance with a guitar.

Other posts from this 2012 series:

My version of the year 2012 in review: 9 July

I rose early and took the Mwanza-bound bus with Dr. Thomas Molony. We dropped off at Nyamisisi and took another bus to Tarime located near the border with Kenya.

Coastal Aviation had offered Dr. Molony passage on one of its chartered flights to enable him to take aerial photographs of Mwitongo, Butiama, for his soon-to-be-released biography on Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Tanzania's founding president. The flight was from Tarime.
Dr. Thomas Molony at the Tarime airstrip with the Cessna Caravan aircraft that we boarded later.
From a speeding bus to a crowded bus (I could not get a seat and stood most of the way on the way to Tarime) and on to a chartered plane that first flew tourists to two separate tented camps located in the Serengeti National Park, we then flew over Mwitongo, Butiama, and then landed at Mwanza airport concluding a day that possessed stark contrasts.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:
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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Pedicure on the go: only in Tanzania

Tanzania is the only country I know where you can get a pedicure service while seated in a passenger bus.

A few days ago, as I sat in a daladala (commuter bus) waiting for the seats to fill up for a trip from Musoma to Butiama and while not quite minding my own business, I noticed that a fellow passenger kicked off her sandals and sought the pedicure services of an itinerant trader who not only provides a fresh look to his clients' nails but also sells ladies shoes.
He placed his stock of shoes aside and spent several minutes cleaning her nails and applying a red polish.

I have no idea how much it cost but it should have been a fraction of the most expensive pedicure.

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My version of the year 2012 in review: 30 June

I traveled to Mugumu in Serengeti District to attend the wedding of my cousin Daisy to Grayson
Nyakarungu, and later a wedding reception where I, for the second time, delivered a wedding speech for the family of the bride.

Another post in this 2012 review series:

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My version of the year 2012 in review: 18 June

I returned home from a hike to Mt. Mtuzu and came across what appeared to me a flower-infested bush.
I do not recall that the leaves were not green as the image depicts. Perhaps I have been over zealous with tweaking the Auto Correct option on the image editor.

Other posts in this 2012 review series:

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Scholarships from the Netherlands for International Students

Educational institutions in the Netherlands offer various scholarships for international students. Details here:


Further details on a wide range of scholarships from other countries can be found here:


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Sunday, 14 July 2013

A ride on the Kamanga ferry from Mwanza to Sengerema

For the first time yesterday, I took the. Kamanga ferry from Mwanza to Sengerema. Lake Victoria always provides some of the best scenery in northern Tanzania.

As I stood on the side enjoying the unfolding scenery that included a few rocky islets along the way, I quickly realized that Lake Victoria was also a gigantic refuse bin, all 68,800 square kilometres of it. Many passengers on the ferry threw litter into the lake, from food wrappers and food waste to empty plastic bottles.
Buses on the Kamanga ferry.
Every time I board a vessel I contemplate the likelihood it will sink and the prospects, mine particularly, of reaching the shore. On this occasion I even pre-planned the removal of my fake Timberland boots once I found myself in the water and how I would lie on my back and remain afloat and attempt to keep my mouth shut to prevent the Lake's water, which I suspect to be highly contaminated with the effluent generated by the city of Mwanza, from entering my mouth and causing me some unknown health risks.

The script reads much better than what may actually unfold when disaster strikes. I might be happy to drink my fill of contaminated lake water in exchange for reaching the shore.

The ferry takes about 25 minutes to reach its destination.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

"Freedom and Unity" by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere

This book is a collection of speeches by Tanzania's founding president Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922 - 1999) delivered between 1952 and 1965.

They span the precolonial period and the period of Tanganyika's independence struggle and the early period after Tanganyika's independence as well as the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar: Tanzania.

In the book he writes: "Whatever the size of society and whatever its institutions, the freedom and well-being of its members depends upon there being a generally accepted social ethic - a sense of what things are right, and what things are wrong, both for the institutions in relation to the members, and for the members in relation to each other."
The author sought to reveal an understanding of the basic purpose of a new administration of an emerging nation. Furthermore it is an attempt to enable the reader to acquire a "...historical understanding of the development of Tanzania and of the philosophy which it is trying to practice."

I recommend this book to some of the younger generation of Tanzanians who tend to read commentaries on Mwalimu rather than read his own words.

Monday, 8 July 2013

To save the Union the Warioba commission proposed a federal structure

Members of the Warioba Commission appointed by President Jakaya Kikwete last year to collate views on a new constitution for Tanzania accepted a daunting task, a thankless work that was guaranteed to receive criticism. The criticism was inevitable. How can you please 44 million Tanzanians at one instance?
After their appointment last year a political commentator poured out his sympathy for the difficult task that the members of this commission for having to shoulder the burden of attempting to reconcile Tanzanian's existing conflicting demands and how those demands could be reconciled in the constitutional proposals.
One sticking point that has countless offshoots is the union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika, consumated on 26th April 1964 and depending on who is speaking is either the best example of Africa's long quest for unity, or is a relentless effort by Tanganyika's leaders (Mwalimu Julius Nyerere is pointed to as the architect of this conspiracy) to deny Zanzibar and its people true unadulterated sovereignty.
To anyone who cares to listen, those voices that are crying for a Zanzibar that is free from the Union have been much louder than the voices that have defended the Union. And that, I find, is the case both in Zanzibar and on this side of the Union, Tanganyika.
Both architects of the Union, Mwalimu Nyerere and Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, are dead and buried. And perhaps it is good that this is the case because I do not know how they would have taken the current constitutional proposal by the Warioba Commission of a federal structure: a government for both Zanzibar and Tanganyika, and a federal government. And I suspect that members of the Commission, in drawing up their recommendations, most likely weighed on the reality that Karume had died in 1973 and Mwalimu in 1999. Pardon the cliche' but dead architects of the Union cannot speak.
Some scholars contend that Sheikh Karume said the Union was like a coat and if it did not fit one could remove it. We know that Mwalimu Nyerere advocated unity, African unity, as a matter of principle. Tanzania was a step towards a united Africa. He would have taken back the ill-fitting coat to the tailor for a readjustment.
But anyone attempting to defend the Union today in whatever form (ill-fitting or retailored) is, in my opinion, swimming against a tide of resentment from Zanzibar and, increasingly, from this side of the Union. There appears to be a genuine belief from Zanzibar that the Union is delaying Zanzibar's development.
I believe members of the Warioba Commission were placed in the front seat and obtained an accurate assessment of the prevailing views in Zanzibar. Any recommendation that was not a step backward towards true unity - which is what a federal structure is, in my opinion - would have given ample ammunition to those who say the ill-fitting coat has to be hanged in the closet or preferably thrown away. The Commission had to chip away at unity to preserve the Union.
So, ndugu, let us commend the work of the Commission on recommending a federal structure. For the sake of the continued existence of Tanzania they had no other sensible choice.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Visitors to Butiama: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela visited the village of Butiama in November 1999. He came to pay his condolences following Mwalimu Nyerere's death in October 1999. The residents of Butiama fondly remember that visit that lasted several hours and included a lunch hosted by Mwalimu's widow, Mama Maria Nyerere.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The rehabilitation of Mwalimu Nyerere's barns continues

The rehabilitation of the barns once used by Tanzania's founding president, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922 - 1999), to store his finger millet crop continues at his residence in Butiama. It is almost complete.
Mwalimu Nyerere did not only lay emphasis on agricultural policies and vigorously promoted those policies during his administration (1961 to 1985 when he voluntarily stepped down), he also was an ardent farmer.
He practised what he preached.

The weaving of these artisanal barns leaves gaps between the twigs that are sealed by cow dung. In the photo, the bags on the ground contain fresh cow dung. When complete the stored grain is completely protected from rodents and destructive insects.